October 22 2010 by Staff

    Norman Jameson, editor of the Biblical Recorder since Aug. 1, 2007, has resigned, effective Dec. 31, 2010.

     

    Saying his resignation was “not required, but necessary” Jameson offered to resign prior to a regularly scheduled board meeting in Charlotte Oct. 21. Board members expected their meeting to include discussion about an announced challenge to the Recorder’s Cooperative Program funding through the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina when the Convention meets Nov. 8-10.

     

    A letter to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Executive Director-treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr. and copied to Recorder board members threatened such action if the editor was not removed. Hollifield has no supervisory responsibility for the Recorder, which is an agency of the Baptist State Convention with a separate board.

     

    Cooperative Program funding accounts for about 45 percent of the Biblical Recorder’s $726,500 budget in 2010.

     

    “It seems that Mr. Jameson does not know the mindset of this predominantly biblically conservative state…enough is enough,” wrote Sandy Beck, director of missions in the Carolina Baptist Association. “If his board of directors cannot influence his lack of sensitivity, perhaps the conservative pastors and laity of this state can.”

     

    Jameson, a Baptist journalist since 1977, said he was confident until just hours before his board meeting that the Recorder would survive such a challenge if it were to materialize. But with no such confidence expressed by the board, he offered to resign.

     

    “The board of directors affirms Mr. Jameson’s many positive personal qualities and his excellent work for and dedication to the Biblical Recorder and to North Carolina Baptists,” said board chair Bill Flowe, a lawyer and member of First Baptist Church, Liberty. “He was gracious in his action and the board responded graciously. Mr. Jameson exhibited a confidence in God that we trust and pray God will honor.

     

    “The editor’s job is not only to report but also to challenge readers to think in ways they otherwise might not think. This duty makes the job precarious. The perception that Mr. Jameson is not a good fit as editor with the current direction of the Convention resulted in the painful decision to make a change.”

     

    Jameson, whose writing is regularly honored by peers in the Baptist Communicators Association, came to the Recorder following three years as executive leader for public relations at the Baptist State Convention. For 12 years he directed communications for Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, was associate editor of the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger, a public relations staffer at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and feature editor of Baptist Press, the international news agency for the Southern Baptist Convention.

     

    For five years he consulted non-profits from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans in public relations and capital fundraising while trying to plant a church in High Point.

     

    10/22/2010 10:35:00 AM by Staff | with 60 comments




Comments
Rick Smoot
Forgive me, but I forgot to say so much for Freedom of the Press or is that applicable to North Carolina Baptists.
11/15/2010 12:38:14 PM

Rick Smoot
I have known Norman Jameison and his family for a number of years and have appreciated doing so. I am a lifelong NC Baptist and supporter of the BSC of NC. I am saddened by the resignation of Norman Jameison for I feel that he has done a great job as editor of BR in both graphics (looks) and content. I have always appreciated the "freedom" that BR has had in reporting both conservative and moderate issues but it does NOT read like that "freedom" will be able to continue.. As if anyone cares, I will no longer support the BSC of NC. I wish the BESTTTTT and God's Blessings for Norman, Sue Ellen and the rest of the family.
11/15/2010 12:28:44 PM

Jonathan Jenkins
[b]Quoting Mr. Scarborough - "Dietrick Bonhoeffer kept his mouth shut when the Nazis came for the Gypsies / mentally defectives / Jews. His final observation before he was hung was "now there is no one left to speak for me!""[/b]

Just to correct a few things, that have nothing to do with the issue, but I personally am tired of seeing Mr. Scarborough misquote, misrepresent, and mislead people about Baptists. The quote that you cited as Dietrick Bonhoeffer's was not made by Dietrich (the right spelling) Bonhoeffer. It was made by another Pastor and Friend of Bonhoeffer's, Martin Niemoller. Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke out for Jews, mentally handicapped, and underprivileged before the Nazis and during and until his death. Please make sure that you have the facts before you decide to quote something that you obviously know nothing about. The full and actual quote is below.

[i]When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I wasn't a Jew.
When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.[/i]
11/13/2010 12:14:55 AM

Gene Scarborough
[b]Justin--[/b]

If you are from NC, then it would be wise to be in Greensboro to express them as a messenger from your church!

If some of the Messengers don't address this issue from the floor, we are in deeper trouble than we have been.

[b]Remember:[/b] The Editor was specifically chosen by the current Conservative leadership to fulfill their dreams! Are they dreams of a paper without any dissent or center-focused honesty from its Editor??? Do Baptists still have the right to "agree to disagree???"
11/6/2010 12:21:19 PM

Justin Crouse
I was very troubled at the tone of this article. This sounds more like a secular news article than a christian one. There were several comments cited here that should not have been included to the public.

Regardless of the circumstances, Christians should not seek to write or speak words to tear down a fellow Christian. This conflict and the personal, derrogatory comments should have remained confidential. While it is important to report the facts, it is also important to remember the Biblical Recorder is a Christian publication that exists to promote Christian ideals and encourage those who read it. The purpose should not be to tear down anyone or plead anyone's case. When I read this article, I did not leave with an uplifted spirit and feel whoever wrote this article could have done a better job at sticking to the premise of the story: "Norman Jameson resigned at the request of the board and we wish him the best."

Sandy Beck, your words are anything but conservative. They are an open manifestation of your frustration and a lack of verbal and spiritual discretion on your part. Your words have certainly discouraged Norman Jameson, as well as the individuals who will read this article.

Norman, as your brother in Christ, I wish you the best and pray God will give you direction. I also pray for those in leadership and those who allowed this article to be published.
11/4/2010 11:04:37 PM

Gene Scarborough
It is interesting to see the Norman Jameson article of October 2008 suddenly and mysteriously materialize!

This happens only when a number of people go back and read it--which automatically puts it back in the "most read" category. The article comments are now closed / I think the article was fair and accurate as were the many comments. So why is it suddenly back????

[b]My theory:[/b] Those trying to undergird their effort to "starve the Editor out" have another plan to somehow justify their actions---try to prove how un-conservative he is. To reach the top of the list bespeaks a concerted effort behind-the-scenes of "leaders of the plot."

[b]It only convinces me how under-handed current Conservatives running the NCBSC show can try to be.[/b] I remain unconvinced that the Messengers in a week should not bring them to task for further trying to destroy the NCBSC. [b]If you keep quiet---those who came for Bonhoeffer will have no one to speak for them when they come for you!!!![/b]
11/1/2010 7:32:24 AM

Gene Scarborough
I join you in wanting to know who is really behind this mess???

No one need have sympathy for the writer of the letter of threat. The one who is threatened has lost his job at an older age where few moves can be made upward. Our editor was leading upward to the point that SBC blogs were quoting him widely with appreciation.

So---If he was acceptable as a wise replacement for Tony Cartledge / if he is widely appreciated and quoted in SBC publications / where is the real beef?

Another super important question should be: Who would be crazly enough to replace min under these strange circumstances. I don't think Jesus could please some of the Baptists in NC these days! When it ain't broke---don't fix it!!! The BR is far from broken, in my opinion.
10/27/2010 4:50:05 PM

S. Moore
Perhaps the letter from Beck, in it’s entirety, should be printed/posted for all NC Baptists to read and interpret. Regardless of context it appears to me that comments such as “It seems that Mr. Jameson does not know the mindset of this predominantly biblically conservative state…enough is enough,” and “If his board of directors cannot influence his lack of sensitivity, perhaps the conservative pastors and laity of this state can” are obvious statements of intentions to oust a man of integrity who shares, heaven forbid, a different opinion from Beck. Beck was “man” enough to write such a letter and make such threats…he should be “man” enough to handle the consequences. Btw, if he hasn't already, maybe Beck should share his sentiments with Norman Jameson rather than his association (just a thought).
10/27/2010 2:02:01 PM

Branton Burleson
As a pastor serving in the Carolina Baptist Association, I know Sandy Beck well and have heard him share his heart concerning the events surrounding the editor's resignation. I believe what Sandy wrote was taken out of context and has been used in ways he did not intend. He shared his sadness about these matters this past Monday in our weekly association pastor's conference. It appears to me that Sandy has become the "fall guy" for an ongoing problem behind the scenes much bigger than him. I don't know who all is included in "Staff" for the writing of this article, but I personally believe that it does not tell the whole story and that Sandy Beck was made a "whipping boy" by someone. Those "in the know" should come forward with the whole truth for the sake of integrity. The comments written here against Sandy are proof that the article is misleading.
10/27/2010 11:43:59 AM

Brent Hobbs
According to Norman's comments here, he invited Sandy Beck to express whatever concerns he might have about the Recorder and Beck never took those steps. Instead, he went directly to for Norman's job. As I've seen Norman listen and respond to my concerns in the past, it makes me angry that Beck did not take the steps he should have: addressing Norman personally about whatever issues he perceived.

I believe Beck was wrong in his assessment of the Recorder in the first place, then doubly wrong in his actions of calling for Norman's job without talking with him first. I am a conservative, but I don't want to be associated in any way with this kind of action and would call on others to denounce it as well.
10/27/2010 11:12:00 AM

Gene Scarborough
[b]What happens when ugly things are done in the name of Baptists when we don't perceive ourselves as ugly?

What if those ugly things are against the wishes of the majority, but a Board has decided to act on our behalf?

When should a Board or Executive Committee say, "This is beyond the scope of our assignment and the Baptists of NC need to make this call rather than us?"[/b]

The events of our Editor's resignation bring up these exact questions and they must be answered by each messenger to our annual meeting. The whole purpose of that meeting is to do things "reflecting the will and thoughts the NCBSC. Dr. Doug Branch years ago testified in the N. Rocky Mount Baptist Church case as a hidden Independent Baptist Preacher snuck in / charmed 51% into voting to leave the Association / thought the 49% who lost would walk away from the facilities they had sacrificially built. They did NOT!!

The court case which sets a precident in NC legal history hinged around "who is the real SBC congregation here because the deed clearly states the property was gifted as long as it is used by a SBC Baptist Church."

Dr. Branch and otheres (several professors at SEBTS) defined in clear terms before a court of law who and what Southern Baptists are. Dr. Branch clearly stated we are really a convention only at the yearly meeting time. Otherwise our activities are carried on, first at the local sutonomous church with any other funded agencies or groups doing what we ask them to do at the Annual Convention.

[b]Now, if the actions of the BR Board of Trustees and the "threat to de-fund" our paper are pleasing to the majority who meet in Greensboro, the "that is the will of the Baptists of NC.[/b]

However, if this stick in your craw and embarasses you as one called Baptist in NC as it does me, then we can have our say in Greensboro by raised hand and reasoned discussion. Anything short of that is the same afront to the SBC spirit as was that of Re. Johnson at N. Rocky dMount. The question of "Who is the real Southern Baptist" has a crystal clear answer in the 1956 Court case.

I have the transcript because I was the pastor who served them last when everything was brought out for examination before being sent to Wake Forest University for inclusion in their Archives of Baptist history. Somebody better read it fast, because it is set the concrete of precedent for Baptist churches in NC.
10/27/2010 6:46:08 AM

Linda Jameson
Dear People, After reading all the loving support of my brother, Norman, I am so grateful and filled with love, that you have recognized all his wonderful qualities and talents and feel able to voice them. I know he appreciates them, as he told me so himself. And his family who loves him beyond measure also appreicates all your support of him. I am saddened by this turn of events as I am certain it does not represent the majority of Baptists. Thank you all so much for supporting this wonderful brother of mine...and God Bless You.
10/27/2010 2:49:07 AM

Lynn Clayton
How terribly sad. Another state paper blackmailed to get a mouthpiece of fundamentalism rather than truth. Norman Jameson is one of the most gifted journalist among SBC peers. He has a heart for honesty and fairness and truth. May God forgive those so narrow minded that they cannot stand a "different" view even when it is true. May God graciously guide Mr. Jameson to a platform where he is appreciated for his integrity, skill, and Christlikeness.
10/26/2010 7:34:31 PM

Norman
Folks, thank you for the dialog. Most of it was on point, but I felt it necessary to delete some posts that were simply personal snipes at each other. Remember this is a widely ready site so if you have personal items, take care of those directly with each other through email or even better, a phone call. Let's show each other the respect we each deserve as Christian brothers.
10/26/2010 8:50:33 AM

Jack Wolford
Norman, Sounds like Beck made a sane, sensible evaluation and observation - but was wrong.
10/26/2010 2:11:59 AM

Norman
Tim Rogers. Just for clarification, Sandy Beck has never called me. When I told him directly during the board meeting at Caswell in September that he should call me if he has an issue with anything I've said or not said; written or not written, he said OK. I later offered to come to his association and talk with the pastors who he said had issues. He said issues didn't last long there and that his folks were "over it."

10/25/2010 10:08:13 PM

ilinap
I'm sorry to see Norman resign. Even I, a non-Baptist, non-Christian (GASP!) who is nonetheless spiritual, loved reading his words. I appreciated his thoughtful accounts of various issues and their impact on humanity. His style of balanced insight and writing, and indeed his good nature, are what we need more of. What a mistake the board made by tolerating only one school of thought versus the benefits of building bridges and seeing different perspectives.
10/25/2010 9:08:02 PM

Tim Marsh
Tim Rogers,

I appreciate the kind dialogue...I am sure that more will come to light in the weeks and months following. I can't say I agree with everything, but I appreciate your responses to my concerns.


10/25/2010 5:55:21 PM

Tim Rogers
Brother Tim,

I was contacted this afternoon by Brother Brian Davis for a clarification on something. The letter from Brother Sandy was addressed to Brother Milton and Brother Sandy sent a copy of his letter to all 16 Trustees as well as Brother Norman. I have made a statement questioning Brother Milton's wisdom in sending the letter to the BoT when he did not do that. Hawever, the wording of the statement, that was approved by the BR Trustee Chairman does not indicate it was Brother Sandy that sent the copies.

"do you agree that Sandy Beck's threat to protest at the State Convention and lead revoking funds was right, ethical and Christian?" Was it right? It is his right to present this in the correct light. Which leads to the ethics of such a move. Brother Sandy is operating in Biblical guidelines of Matthew 18. I know he has spoken to Brother Norman expressing his concerns. His next step is to bring his concerns to the body. Thus by following the Scriptural guide he is certainly doing it right, ethically, and Christian.

"The tactics of threatening to remove funds and pressuring the Board to remove the editor unless he does what we want...such tactics are immoral." One needs to ask if Brother Sandy controls the purse strings of the BSCNC. I know Brother Sandy and I can assure everyone that he does not have $32 million just laying around. Thus, he does not have the authority to defund anything. If he controlled the purse strings, then yes, it would be immoral. Brother Sandy is merely practicing his autonomous voice. The question one needs to ask should be one concerning the BoT. Why was this statement in the press release? "[quote]Jameson, a Baptist journalist since 1977, said he was confident until just hours before his board meeting that the Recorder would survive such a challenge if it were to materialize. But with no such confidence expressed by the board, he offered to resign.[/quote]" The BoT was not confident, probably with recent history, that Brother Norman could survive a floor vote with his CBF alliances.

Brother Gene,

There you go again, speaking about thing that are not even relevant. The BR is autonomous of the BSCNC. This issue is with the BR BoT not the BSCNC. You are correct as it is on the floor of the convention one will have a chance to discuss it, but you need to know there is corporate law that say one cooperation does not dictate decisions of an autonomous BoT.
10/25/2010 4:55:27 PM

Dave Long
I am appalled by some of the hateful comments made by Chrsitian leaders. Is it little concern that people question Christianity when our leaders deal with personal attacks so publically? As a native of North Carolina, who in a few years will retire and move back to the US, I am not sure NC will even get consideration if what I read above is how Baptist leaders act. Some need to do some anger management and then repent and read again the wrods of Christ. I would be ashamed to be a member of the churches of some of these pastors.
10/25/2010 4:34:03 PM

Blake Dempsey
All credibility is now gone, and there was only a strand left. Immediately following this post, I am calling to cancel both my personal and church subscriptions. No one needs to respond to this post, because I will not be back on this website to read it.
10/25/2010 10:37:59 AM

Gene Scarborough
[b]While words of comfort and support are helpful, the real place to speak is at the Annual Meeting.[/b] Beware of tactics going on even now to try and refer or put off any open discussion. This has been the tactic in the past.

You might want to contact John Small (I think it is the right name) who is the Convention Attorney as to how to properly be heard. You can bet this is in the area of "lawsuit" or "formal complaint over corporate actions" (much more simple and far less costly). You can bet he is looking at all the legal angles.

As a, now, [b]fully recognized Corporation operating under NC Corporate laws[/b], your point of contact there is the Secretary of State (Elaine Mashall I believe). Any member of the Corporation has a right to clearly be heard at the Corporate meeting which is what the Greensboro meeting now is.
10/25/2010 9:07:00 AM

Tim Marsh
Sorry #2 was incomplete - My point is such tactics are immoral.

You are right, though, that the board should not allow itself to be pressured.
10/25/2010 8:45:25 AM

Tim Marsh
Tim Rogers,

I totally agree with you regarding the actions of the Trustees. However, do you agree that Sandy Beck's threat to protest at the State Convention and lead revoking funds was right, ethical and Christian? Is that how we respond to things that we disagree with?

I am flattered that you would think me to be someone of clout with inside information but I'm not. I am just a pastor and reader of the Recorder who has appreciated the work Norman Jameson has done. Let me sum up my beef in two points:

1. Norman Jameson is an outstanding editor. Under his leadership the website has improved, the layout of the paper, and there has been a balance and fair coverage of both conservative and moderate Baptist life (most CBFNC churches do still contribute to the BSCNC, like my church). Good work should be rewarded by pay raises and job security. And, editors should have the freedom to write opinion pieces that the majority does not agree with. No editor should be removed when quality has improved.

2. The tactics of threatening to remove funds and pressuring the Board to remove the editor unless he does what we want, i.e. write opinion pieces that only fundamentalists agree with and covering only BSCNC events (with an occasional piece bashing the "liberalism" of the CBFNC).

The contrast between the prophets of the OT, like Isaiah, Jeremiah and others versus the court prophets of the kings is that the prophets of the kings told the the kings what they wanted to hear. The prophets of the OT told the truth - the Word of the Lord. Which prophets are we still reading - the ones who tell us what we want to hear or the ones who spoke boldly and unapoloegtically to challenge the people of the day?
10/25/2010 8:43:46 AM

Dennis Conner
It is a sad day for Baptists in NC and all who watch them.

My heart aches for Norm. In my dealings with Norm, I've found him to be an honorable man, an honest journalist, and a Jesus-loving believer.

My heart aches for my fellow conservatives, too. I am just foolish enough to assert that the Bible is not only inerrant and infallible, but it is also authoritative. I find threats and intimidation inconsistent with biblical authority, no matter from whom they come.

My heart aches for those who are lost in NC. While legions pass into eternity without a relationship with the One who created them for His own glory, there seems to be some who are content to sit here and wage verbal war against each other. Perhaps we should take time to reflect on the truth of 2 Timothy 2:14: Remind them of these things, and solemnly ​charge them in the presence of God not to ​​wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers."
10/25/2010 7:29:08 AM

Tim Rogers
[b][/b]Tim,
Let's discuss the official news release, not what we have been told behind the scenes. Why? I know I have been told things behind the scenes just as you probably have. Why not add the things we have been told behind the scenes? Because it is not fact if someone is not willing to verify it. [b]According to the release,[/b] the BoT did not discuss this issue. It says that Brother Norman offered his resignation "[b]prior[/b]" to the BoT meeting. It also says the BoT were planning to discuss the issue. Thus, Brother Norman knew this was about to be discussed. Brother Norman said his resignation was not "required, but necessary". Therefore it tells us he did not have enough support on the BoT to sustain his remaining as Editor.

Was it right for the BoT to take this action [b]based on the news release[/b]? The answer is an unequivocal NO! The BoT has placed Brother Sandy Beck as the bad guy. Any person has the right to send any letter one is willing to sign their name. The BoT has placed Brother Milton in the unique position of appearing to exercise control over the BR BoT that he does not posses. With this being a personnel issue, the BoT cannot say anything concerning the issue. I am not sure if they haven't already violated some type of personnel laws. I presume they ran that news release by their lawyer so my last sentence
probably is voided out. But one cannot help but question the BoT on their thinking by speaking of a letter that came from Brother Milton. Also, one has to question Brother Milton's wisdom in sending to the BoT a letter he received instead of instructing Brother Sandy to send it to them.

For those reasons alone, it is not right that it came down this way. The BoT should have placed objectives before Brother Norman. They should have never allowed this letter to be their sole reason for calling for a discussion to determine if they should support defending the BR.
10/25/2010 6:30:58 AM

Tom Watson
I think that as a whole the BR has been, under Norman, a fair and balanced,if i may borrow that term, publication. It did not seem that one view or the other was played up and the paper seemed to be a straightforward reporting mechanism of the Baptist news with items of related cultural and religious interest. As a long time reader, it does not seem to be in the denomination's best interest to mess with a formula that works.
10/24/2010 11:00:33 PM

Layne Wallace
For the life of me I cannot understand what the editor was doing wrong. Can anyone clarify this for me?

Layne
10/24/2010 9:29:36 PM

Gene Scarborough
I think we have some leaders who never got past their [b]"5-year-old I want it my way"[/b] stage in life. They are spoiled and do not know the meaning of the word, "[b]NO,"[/b] from more mature members of the family. When such attitudes are ignored, you end up with a Juvenile Delinquent where a Police Officer or Judge has to do what parents should have done early on--or a drug-addicted young adult still sponging off his parents.

Roy Smith tried to appease them with the Financial Policy based on homophobia. His successor did the same! It was a clear violation of Autonomy, but we kept our mouths shut. [i]"Give them a bone and they will be happy"[/i] was the hope. We kept our mouths shut when Tony Cartledge had troubles for not toeing the party line enough. Now the Editor of their choosing is the next scape goat to go.

[b]When is enough--enough???[/b] Dietrick Bonhoeffer kept his mouth shut when the Nazis came for the Gypsies / mentally defectives / Jews. His final observation before he was hung was [i]"now there is no one left to speak for me!"[/i]

Again, do the churches and messengers run the NCBSC or will we be run by fakes declaring, [i]"This is what NC Baptists want and this is who we are?"[/i] The annual meeting used to decide most things. The Executive Committes virtually does it now.

[b]If Norman goes without anyone to speak for him, who will be left when they come for your church???[/b]
10/24/2010 7:01:57 PM

Tim Marsh
To all, I can understand that arguing is not an attractive quality in a family.

However, what do we do? Do we keep our mouths shut and pretend everything is OK when it is not? Jesus gave Matthew 18 because even in the church everything is not going to be OK. We have to work on our relationships.

We will disagree. The problem is there exists no standard by which we hold ourselves accountable to one another. (Please don't say "the Bible" because everyone knows that we read the Bible differently.)

Sometimes healthy or unhealthy conversation is preferred over pretending everything is OK. The purpose of this conversation is why a good man and good editor no longer has his job and whether the motivations and tactics behind his dismissal are valid and pure. That is something worth talking about. And, it is not something that is OK.

I don't care what Bill Maher thinks.
10/24/2010 4:54:06 PM

Bob
Bill Maher would be so pleased to read these examples of Christian unity. Could it be that NC Baptists are not focused quite enough on the real purpose of their existence?
10/24/2010 10:50:38 AM

Gene Scarborough
Anyone interested in the fullest picture possible of this mess culminating in the forced resignation of Norman Jameson will find it here:

http://sbctakeover.com/

The website is full of detailed information / a search box to look up things and people who interest you / some 20+ chapters so you can look where you please on the chronology.

The Takeover has been going on for 40 years of Conservative control. It began seriously with its initial activities in the 1950's---mostly in Texas!
10/24/2010 9:10:14 AM

Gene Scarborough
Chris----Gene had a clear clue years ago when the Financial Policy precluded Autonomy.

I used to work for the NCBSC in 1968-70 along with support from the HMB and Raleigh Baptist Association. I knew it first hand then and what we have today is hardly recognizable!

I have a very clear clue and I have tried to speak clearly as to what a terrible thing is being done to our Editor. God holds people who are hypocrits in greatest disdain and judgement = they know exactly how they are pretending to be sweet / evil. Check you Bible for the position of hypocrits in the eyes of God and tremble in fear if you are one!

"Vengence is mine," saith the Lord----AND He means it!!!
10/23/2010 7:01:52 PM

Chris
As a conservative, I hurt for Norman. As I conservative, I can say "the sky is not falling". The NCBSC is heading in a strong and good direction. Gene has no clue.
10/23/2010 3:58:17 PM

Jack Wolford
Making sense out of a mess like this is right up Norman Jamison's alley. Other than that who would enjoy this constant dirty bickering. Not a leader in the bunch including me. This argueing is ingrained in the leftovers of past fights and where its been no fun in the past it's even less so now and I'm getting too old to enjoy whatever part we're supposed to enjoy. Can mental illness be the underlying cause ? There is plenty around.
10/23/2010 3:52:32 PM

Tim Marsh
Tim Rogers,

Forgive my reading comprehension abilities and I did read your blog. Nevertheless, I stand by my comments.

If a change was necessary (according to the readership that did not appreciate balanced coverage of Baptist life in North Carolina), then you are right, the means that they went about was wrong. However, don't make Sandy Beck to be an innocent pawn. When people threaten to remove their funds, they know what they are doing.

Regardless of my theological position, I have always felt it best to hear the whole story, understand where others are coming from, and learning about all aspects of a matter. Maybe others would not agree. Heaven forbid we could learn from those with whom we disagree. Most important is loving those with whom we disagree.

Tony Cartledge was an outstanding editor and it was a shame to lose him. Norman Jameson brought balance that was needed, I admit. However, for some Baptists in this state, balanced coverage is not good enough.
10/23/2010 11:18:38 AM

CBF supporter
Based on the behavior demonstrated here, I have now decided to cut all funding to BSC and will instead be sending it to CBF.
10/23/2010 11:16:31 AM

Tim Rogers
Brother Tim,

Also, you may need to read my article that I referenced to Brother Norman before you begin painting me in a corner I am not in.
10/23/2010 10:46:49 AM

Tim Rogers
Brother Tim,

I believe you would do well to read the article again. Brother Norman never went to the meeting. The article says; "prior". This was a discussion that took place behind the scenes and it clearly reveals the Board was not behind him thus he never went to the meeting.
10/23/2010 10:44:23 AM

Tim Rogers
Brother Norman,

I have written a post over at http://rebekah1.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/change-is-it-necessary-is-it-right/ It is 2000 words in length and I beleive I have fairly represented the issues. I know that we have disagreed in the past on issues and as you know I am closer to Brother Sandy on theological issues than I am you. However, I believe you should have been more fairly treated in this matter. I do not fault Brother Sandy as he has a right to express his opinions as I know you believe that also. I do hold fault those who allowed it to move to this point. I will leave you with my closing paragraph because it expresses my heart in this entire matter.

[quote]As I conclude let me offer my sincere apology to Brother Norman Jameson for the way this came about. I am sorry that it has come to this for you. While you and I did not agree on many of the issues I count you as a friend and pray God’s blessings on you and His healing of the hurt you are experiencing. I also pray for your family. I know your wife is also experiencing pain in this situation. Nothing has been reported concerning severance, but I pray you did receive a generous severance package.

I also offer to Brother Sandy Beck my agreement that something had to be done. What you did was the way you felt it needed to happen and I praise God for your convictions for bringing about change. You had every right to let the Trustees know of your intentions and that was the right thing to do. I pray that you have not been just a pawn for the trustees because they were not willing to do anything on their own. It appears that they used your threat to get matters done, instead of standing with a backbone before their Editor and calling for objectives and goals to be met. [/quote]
10/23/2010 10:40:17 AM

Del
I'm with you, Gene! A line in the sand needs to be drawn against those who are afraid of different points of view and are the devotees of thought control. I couldn't be more disappointed in the current Recorder Board of Directors for their capitulation. There are enough real Baptists left in North Carolina to raise the amount of money that was threatened to be withdrawn unless the tenure of Editor Jamison was terminated.

Sadly, controversy draws a bigger crowd than unity, so get ready for a livlier than usual Baptist State Convention!
10/23/2010 10:40:15 AM

Tim Marsh
Tim Rogers,

Norman Jameson went into a meeting planning to be the editor of the paper for years to come and by the end of the meeting resigned.

I believe Jameson when he says he offered to resign. However, when one meeting changes the course of your life plans and livelyhood...come on, you and I both have been in Baptist life long enough to know how things work.

Regardless of what you think of Gene's spirit, we both know that there is truth behind his words. See Joe Babb's comments, and those of Les Puryear and Brent Hobbs. Some conservatives are tired of this stuff as well.
10/23/2010 10:39:57 AM

Gene Scarborough
By the way---[b]why not just fire the Board[/b] over accepting the firing of Norman Jameson. His resignation was forced, but [b]we don't have to take it!!!![/b]

I, for one, vote to refuse his resignation!!! Who really runs this show--Boards or Baptist Messengers???

[b]How about you????[/b]
10/23/2010 9:14:56 AM

Gene Scarborough
This all goes to prove [b]"no good deed goes unpunished"[/b] = 3 weeks ago a fair and needed article on M.O. Owens who was the "prophet of fundamentalism in NC," this week the demons of control "show their love" by threatening to de-fund the paper.

Sadly, I know far too many of "our kind of Baptist" in eastern NC (notoriously conservative) who probably won't attend the NCBSC meeting in Greensboro. The BR Board is "fullabulla" when describing the real Baptists in churches of NC. Many no longer go to SEBTS for pastors either.

As I commented last year on moving to the Kourey Center from WF Coliseum because the crowd is diminishing every year: [b]"Just keep this up and in a few years we can meet in the Men's Room at Convention Headquarters."[/b]

Another crowd of churches will soon be moving to the CBF!!! We do have a choice after all.

I am literally crying in shame over NCBSC politics. Even the gulls on the Pamlico outside my house at Bath are crying this morning! They also fight non-stop for posts on which to roost = [b]man, they are good eastern NC Baptists too!!!![/b]
10/23/2010 9:10:44 AM

Joe Babb
As former Chairman of the Board of Directors and the one who chaired the committee to employ Mr. Jameson; I,too, join the sentiments of those who have posted comments. I share their feelings and especially appreciate the comments of the more conservative writers who recognize the fairness and faithfulness of Mr. Jameson's work. Count me as another who disagrees with Mr. Beck and has on occasion debated with him. The enemies of Baptists are three: ignorance, apathy and those who exploit both to their own ends. Mr. Jameson has battled all three! Thank you Norman for a job well done. God will continue to bless you. Joe R. Babb, Arden, NC
10/23/2010 8:54:23 AM

David Harmon-Vaught
"So persecuted you those prophets who came before him."
10/23/2010 7:59:23 AM

Wendy Chriscoe
Why criticize someone covering stories about others doing God's work - why create more division - really - do they think that's what we need - this whole situation has just been a sad reflection of where the world stands today. Christians f...ighting and disagreeing about minsitry coverage and opportunities - what a way to be a light in the world. I am so diappointed in this. We should ALL be working cooperatively together doing kingdom work for the Father making sure that we are making a difference where we are planted and where God calls us. Your voice will be missed Norman, God's blessings to you.
10/23/2010 1:02:01 AM

Jack Wolford
Maybe Beck instead of trying to speak for all the Pastors and Laity should hear a little from them instead. Time to make a joyful noise people.
10/23/2010 12:56:47 AM

Lane Moore
I wonder if I would pass the "purity" test. Who is next? If creedal temperature checks are necessary then why get involved in church leadership when said leadership will summarily have you removed. It is hard enough to get individuals to step forward into leadership positions and donate their time and effort at the local/church level.
Thank you for your service Mr. Jameson.

Lane Moore
10/23/2010 12:38:48 AM

Les Puryear
I am a conservative and I am very disappointed in the reaction of my fellow conservatives to the good work that Norman Jameson has done as editor of the Biblical Recorder. Although I do not agree with everything he wrote, I admire Norman's balanced approach. He was much better than Tony Cartledge who was a strong CBF supporter. I also appreciate Norman's support of our small church movement.

If Mr. Beck wants to turn the Biblical Recorder into the Sword of the Lord, then count me out. Thank you, Norman, for your service. I am so sorry for this shameful treatment of you from our Executive Board.

Les
10/22/2010 10:03:10 PM

Tim Marsh
Brent,

I appreciate your comments.

As someone who would not share your theological position, I believe that BSCNC or conservative Baptists did not get a fair shake before Jameson (although I like Tony Cartledge). Jameson brought a more balanced coverage and approach to the Recorder. It appears your brethren do not want balance, but the whole paper...I am glad that you called it for what it is.
10/22/2010 9:04:52 PM

Brent Hobbs
I am a conservative and I believe this whole situation is entirely uncalled for. When I came to North Carolina three years ago, I had many issues with the Biblical Recorder, the news it reported and the way in which stories were presented. I let Norman know that some time back, as I know others have as well.

I have seen continued improvement in the publication over the past couple of years, which I believe is due to the fact that Norman Jameson heard and understood the concerns of many of us. The Recorder has, in my opinion, over the last year or two, done a better and better job of presenting stories fairly.

The ultimatum given to the board by Sandy Beck (with whom I likely share more in common theologically than I do with Mr. Jameson) was uncalled for and incredibly discouraging to me. I've had concerns in the past, addressed them with Norman, and seen him listen and respond. I wonder if Mr. Beck has tried that approach.

This was a disservice, in my opinion, to the readers of the Recorder and the wrong way to treat a brother in Christ.
10/22/2010 8:52:15 PM

Disgusted
Pretty sad that the board did not stand behind Norman. You cannot trust many in the fundamentalist camp to operate gracefully. I hope they are at least providing appropriate severance. So sad and regretful. NC Baptists continue to separate themselves from church body at large. Though I did not always agree, Norman was very fair to all Baptists. Now NC can have a propaganda arm for SBC.
10/22/2010 8:50:02 PM

Riley
What a travesty! What a waste of talent and integrity! Shame on us!
10/22/2010 8:34:03 PM

Tim Marsh
I have served churches in North Carolina for five years now and have seen two outstanding editors resign from the Biblical Recorder. Maybe I am not surprised. Nevertheless I am disappointed.

10/22/2010 6:46:48 PM

Jack Wolford
Del Parkerson above just said it best. Freedom is important.
10/22/2010 6:37:17 PM

Jack Wolford
Ripple effects from the changes in the SBC along with inherant problems within the State could use Norman Jameson's understanding and leadership. Our Conservative Theology is a totally separate issue which will be proclaimed as long as our congregations allow it - and that might be news.
10/22/2010 6:33:13 PM

Del Parkerson
As a past chairman of the Biblical Recorder board of directors, I am saddened by this development. However, I cannot say that I am surprised. Throughout our history as a denomination Baptists have never agreed on all things, nor will we ever do so! We believe in the priesthood of every believer and the autonomy of every local church, association and convention. Only an uncontrolled and responsible free press can honor our historical and foundational belief in freedom. We have always had the freedom to agree or disagree with our editor's opinions.

Throughout its history the Biblical Recorder has had a very rich heritage -- both in supporting free expression and in serving the causes of missions and ministry through the work or our state and national convention. A religious press that is controlled -- from whatever theological or ideological direction -- is a press that must follow directions and is not free. Baptists are moving away from our heritage in the direction of becoming a creedal body that demands obedience of conscience. This, I believe is a serious mistake.
10/22/2010 6:13:04 PM

Betty W
Sadly, Rev. Beck, every Baptist in NC does not think like you do. It is a shame that anyone had to stoop to 'funding' blackmail to wield power, and it is even more of a shame that the board succumbed to it. Mr. Jameson never strayed from the Bible and always gave us a lot to think about. How funny that this report states “The editor’s job is not only to report but also to challenge readers to think in ways they otherwise might not think." What dangerous ground any future editor will tread. So next, the Biblical Recorder will just be a paper of press releases. Way to go! God is probably saddened by all of this continued denominational squabbling. When will we all realize that it is only about Jesus and nothing else.
10/22/2010 6:06:08 PM

Benji F.
I am writing to wish Mr.Jameson well and to say how much I appreciated his stories. I think he challenged people to think outside the box, but not outside the Bible. It is sad that one man's sensitivities are insulted and he can call for your job. I am disappointed in the board of this newspaper and will cancel my subscription.
10/22/2010 5:58:27 PM

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